If you pay peanuts, you get... no one

24th January 1997 at 00:00
I have just spent another week hearing on the media that we need to raise the standards in schools by encouraging more highly-qualified people into teaching. Hearing, too, how politicians (and our future king) consider homework to be an important factor in raising standards. Hearing on BBC Radio 4's phone-in programme, Tuesday Call, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Chris Woodhead, acknowledging that resources are a significant reason for some schools failing our children's education.

I, like Peter Canwell (TES, January 10), and many others it seems, was tempted to train as a teacher as a mature student, so that my wealth of experience of 20 years in information technology (plus science and mathematics) could contribute to our country's education system. Like Peter, I have made a considerable number of job applications since last Easter, resulting in a handful of interviews, and no job offers. Again, as a husband and father, I need to earn just a little more than a basic scale 1 salary; my experience and qualifications would also entitle me to a higher grade.

The message is this: if we really want to raise standards in education, and we really do want highly-qualified and experienced people to teach our children, then we do need more resources so that schools can actually afford to pay for the quality of staff they are desperately trying to attract.

Me? I have just registered with a number of ITDTP agencies in London. I may only earn Pounds 20 plus per hour but at least I will be able to support my family. I am disappointed that it seems I will not be able to follow the teaching career I found to be highly rewarding and often enjoyable during my training.


(BSc computer science with physics and maths, PGCE technology, unemployed) 44 Manor Road Bedford

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